SOUTH BERWICK — Marshwood High worked the angles to turn bounces into goals in an important 3-1 win over Sanford in a Class A South girls’ soccer game Monday.

All the Hawk goals followed a similar pattern: Crossing ball, a shot that was stopped and capitalizing on a rebound.

“They’re smart kids and great athletes with a high IQ of the game and they give themselves a lot of opportunities and it’s (been) our Achilles’ heel all year long to finish those opportunities,” Marshwood first-year coach Chelsea Watson said. “It was nice to put three away and for that to be enough.”

Reagan Nichols chipped home a shot from about 30 yards out that looped over Sanford goalie Kyla Bragg’s outstretched arms in the 10th minute after Hannah Fife had run onto a crossing pass and caromed a hard shot off a Spartan defender.

Marshwood freshman Natalie Herbold set the second goal in motion with a long cross from the left side. Again it was Fife who beat the Sanford defense to the ball. This time her shot banged off the right post and it was Zoe Janetos in position for the easy rebound follow.

After a late first-half goal by Sanford’s Julia Allen – on a corner kick opportunity that was boxed around in front of Marshwood keeper Emily Robida – the Hawks’ regained their two-goal lead 10 minutes into the second half.

Marin Smith took a direct kick from the far right side about 45 yards from the goal. Herbold ran onto the ball just before it went over the end line, sending a left-footed pass out front to Nichols.

“We focus a lot on getting a touch in and doing anything we can to get our body in position and get it into the net,” Herbold said.

Nichols’ shot was saved by Bragg but not controlled, leaving Natalie DuBois open to poke the ball in from a yard out.

Marshwood improved to 7-1. The Hawks have five shutouts this season.

Sanford is 5-2-2 and was held to fewer than two goals for the second time this season.

“I saw a lot of positives from the girls but I think there was a lot of disappointment in the way we conceded the goals,” Sanford first-year coach Chris Coleman said. “Three crosses that we hadn’t dealt with. Other than that we were in an even match with them physically and mentally.”

Sanford plays physically and Marshwood responded in kind in the second half.

“We talked about it at halftime because it was chippy even in the first half and we just told them, ‘You have to play through it,” Watson said. “They had to play smarter, play quicker and don’t focus on it because the minute you focus on it, it takes you out of your game.”

The heated atmosphere boiled over with matching yellow cards to Sanford striker Vanessa Hodge and Marshwood marking back Hailey Tarr with nine minutes remaining.

The two players had tangled several times, with Tarr falling to the ground at least three times without getting a foul call, the third happening seconds before the collision that drew the cards.

Tarr also fell hard on that play and banged the back of her head on the field. She was helped from the field (Watson said she was fine afterward). Both players are captains.

“The one at the end with Vanessa reacting, she gets piggy-backed every single game by defenders so I’m not surprised by the retaliation however I can’t condone that,” Coleman said. “That shouldn’t have happened and I’ll speak to her about that.”